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Sunshine Mountain East Ridge is a 6.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Ophir, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 6.4 miles Elevation Gain: 3,930 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

skiing

snowshoeing

bird watching

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

bugs

over grown

rocky

scramble

snow

This is the easiest approach to climb Sunshine Mountain. Follow the road and begin the hike at the Galloping Goose trail signs near the creek. Turn off the trail at a green gate that switches up to a meadow with a USFS marker at the base of the ridge. Then pick up the very primitive trail that will gain the East Ridge, and follow the ridge all the way to the summit.

hiking
11 days ago

Could not find the trail up. So good luck trying

hiking
Fri Sep 28 2018

Fun, steep and primitive! Some great times getting lost and bushwhacking up the mountain. Above the treeline is very steep, and there is a short scramble and a little exposure right before the summit. Not for the faint of heart. Car to car took me just over 8 hours (might take 6 if you know EXACTLY where to go/ done it before). Expect to get lost in the woods!

hiking
Thu Jul 20 2017

The views are terrific, but this hike is not for the faint of heart. It is VERY poorly marked. The first ascent from Ames to the cliff tops is well marked, and the path on the ridge is fine, but in between there is a dense woods and the trail completely vanishes. I got lost both on the way up and the way down and had to forage and follow deer paths for almost an hour each time. GPS would help. For a day trip, park at the electric power plant in Ames (very historical) and follow the road up along the creek until you get to a foot bridge over the creek. The trail begins at an unmarked gate on the other side of the bridge. Dense brush waist high that you have to push through, for most of the low-altitude trail.

hiking
Sun Jun 16 2013

Very fun hike. The trail gets hard to follow and can be easily confused with animal trails. But just continue up along the ridge and once you reach treeline, the remainder of the route becomes clear.

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

recorded sunshine!

hiking
Sat Aug 11 2018

hiking
Sat Jun 15 2013